(As most of you know, Steve is retiring from the pastorate, after serving forty years in Florida. Very shortly we move to the Midwest, to be close to our sons and their families. If our daughter and her family would just move east from Washington State, life would be near-perfect!
No doubt you’re also aware that packing and unpacking are time-consuming tasks, so I’m putting the blog on hold for a few weeks. But please continue to visit! I’ll re-blog some previous posts, and hopefully you’ll find them meaningful again, or perhaps for the first time.
The following post was first published 5-16-13.)
“With every deed you are sowing a seed, though the harvest you may not see”
(Ella Wheeler Wilcox, author and poet, 1850-1919).
We never know when a small deed may plant a seed of faith or encouragement. We never know when that seed will reap a bountiful harvest in the life of someone else.
Live attentively to the fact that every deed is a seed. The people around us are watching and listening. Perhaps you’re familiar with the story of a church elder who once led a worship service for two. It happened over 150 years ago in England. A blizzard on Saturday night made it impossible for villagers to get to the church—including the pastor.
The elder almost sent home the two individuals who had come, an older man and a young boy. But something (Someone?) compelled him to speak. Later he confessed his words came out rather jumbled and brusque.
But. The elder planted a seed that immediately took root. The young boy accepted Jesus as his Savior that day. His name? Charles Spurgeon—preacher and author extraordinaire, whom God used mightily. People are still impacted by his writings to this day. (For an example of Dr. Spurgeon’s God-given genius, see the post, “Not Length But Strength,” from May 9, 1913).
Our responsibility is the planting of “deed seeds”; the harvest is up to God.
The same principle that works in the physical realm works in the spiritual realm: A farmer may plant, fertilize, and water, but the germination of each seed is a miracle only God can bring about. Don’t become tightly focused on results.
The elder who led Charles to the Lord that snowy, wintry day, had no idea the boy would grow up to have such a profound effect on the world. The gentleman may not have lived long enough to see the results of his deed that morning. But we know, and we marvel.
The true harvest is not measurable in physical terms, and it’s hidden from view in the spiritual realm.
Only now and then does God give us a glimpse of what our small deeds are accomplishing. Perhaps God planned it that way so pride and self-gratification do not taint the glory of the harvest.
Imagine the joy that elder continues to experience every time a saint comes through the gates of heaven–fourth and fifth generation Christians, who have been influenced by Charles Spurgeon, whose ancestors accepted Jesus because of him. In addition, thousands have been influenced and encouraged by the preacher’s writings.
And it all began with that faithful elder.
You see, the positive influence of a man or woman of God never dies.
Such a possibility should translate into enthusiastic motivation for planting seeds wherever we go.
(Art and photo credits: www.wikimedia.org and http://www.wikipedia.org.)